Daredevil Month: The Ones We Leave Behind

The episode opens where the last one left off. Karen throws the gun she used to kill Wesley into the river, no longer the damsel in distress. She returns to her apartment and drowns her sorrows before washing off. still filled with guilt over what she did. She wakes up the next morning and grabs another drink, only to find Fisk waiting for her. He tells her that it gets easier. Karen wakes up, realizing that the scene with Fisk in the kitchen was just a nightmare.

Karen goes to the Nelson and Murdock Law offices, trying to figure out what to do. Foggy walks in and gives Karen a scare. He asks her about what’s going on with her but she keeps calm and carries on. Foggy makes a marijuana joke and Karen asks him if he’s returning to the offices. But he was just there to pick up some things. Karen doesn’t want to be left alone and Foggy promises that they’ll keep working to stop Fisk because he’s a killer. He also admits that he doesn’t think that The Mask is a terrorist anymore and to call him. He leaves with a “don’t do drugs” and opens the door to find Matt at the entrance. Matt steps aside as Foggy passes him without saying a word. Karen tells Matt that him and Foggy are all she has and Matt asks her if something happened. Karen says “The world fell apart.”

Fisk checks for any calls from Wesley as Vanessa finally wakes up. She doesn’t remember being poisoned and jokes at Fisk’s apology. He tells her that he made arrangements for her to be taken out of the country, but he’s not coming with her. However, Vanessa is willing to stay with him and she knew what she was getting into and that she’s not leaving. Fisk goes out to meet with one of his henchmen who leads him to Wesley’s dead body. Fisk beats up the henchman for not backing Wesley up, but Leland tells him to stop. Lesley and Fisk wonder whodunit, but Fisk tells Leland to go. Lesley tells him to keep an eye out on the endgame. Fisk takes Wesley’s phone and sees that Wesley received a call from his mother.

Ben Urich leaves from another day at the office to find Daredevil waiting for him. He gives Urich a packet of heroin from someone working for Fisk and makes the connection between the triads and Fisk. Urich tells him that he has a lead, but Daredevil tells him to lay low. Daredevil speculates about one of Madame Gao’s henchman and Urich gives him a location.

Over at Josie’s pub, Foggy meets with Marlene to ask for her help about the tenement case leading to Fisk. He gives her information relating to the case and in spite of the fact that her firm was working for Fisk, she takes a look at it.

Karen arrives at Ben’s apartment and tells him that she thinks that Fisk’s men know about their visit. Urich tells her that he has a lead with Rigoletto. He tells her to post what she knows on the net, but Karen has a shady past and knows that nobody will believe her. Marlene tells Foggy that she can’t work with him with all the information they have, but Foggy pleads with her to do the right thing.

Out on the streets, Matt listens for the distant tapping of a cane. A blind woman walks past him and he follows her. The blind woman gets into a car and Matt follows after by scaling a building. Classical music is interspersed with the score of the show as Matt scales from rooftop to rooftop parkour style. He follows the car to a warehouse. Meanwhile, Fisk takes his mother out for a drive and wants her to live somewhere like Italy. Her memory lapses, but Fisk asks her about the call that she made to Wesley.

At the New York Bulletin offices, Ben’s boss is out. Karen gets a call from Matt who’s patching himself up and tells Karen to make sure she and Foggy don’t get involved. Unfortunately, Ben’s boss isn’t up for exposing Fisk because it’s controversial. Urich suspects that Fisk is paying them off, but his boss fires him.

Madame Gao’s sweatshop of heroin runs like a well-oiled machine with plenty of blind people acting as her cogs. Of course, her security isn’t so great when they fall for Daredevil knocking the secret password. Daredevil slowly knocks the other security men out. The blind people, of course, have no clue, but instead continue working as Daredevil walks among them. The scars on some of the men’s faces suggest that some of them have been blinded on purpose. Madame Gao yells out a signal and everyone attacks him.

Fisk talks to Leland who’s dry on leads. He gets a phone call and leaves. Madame Gao and her men search the warehouse for Daredevil, who strikes from the shadows, causing some nearby gasoline to ignite.

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Madame Gao tells him that they blinded themselves and attacks him, escaping into the night as the fire starts to consume the whole warehouse. Daredevil grabs a gun and shoots the sprinklers open, ordering one of the henchmen to lead everyone out. Insert blind leading the blind joke here. Fire trucks close in on the factory as Daredevil makes his escape, only to be confronted by a cop. He confronts the cop and tells him the truth, but leaves quickly.

I’ll be honest when I say that I suspected Leland of being behind the poison. He and Madame Gao have a discussion. She decides to no longer deal with heroin. My suspicions are proven correct: Madame Gao and Leland conspired to kill Vanessa at the gala. However, neither of them know who killed Wesley. Madame Gao says “Screw you guys, I’ma going home” and leaves Leland stuttering.

Ben visits his wife and says that they should go away somewhere. His wife, of course, knows otherwise. He tells her that he’s been fired from the paper. She tells him that he can still share his story on the internet. He calls Karen to update her on his plans to publish the story online.

Matt tries to enter the office, but it’s locked. Karen tells Matt that she’s sick of getting the silent treatment and Matt chalks it up to his old mentor. He admits that he can’t do this alone and starts crying. Karen comforts him and tells him that he’s not alone.

Ben returns to his apartment and gets a drink as he starts writing his first blog. The camera pans up to see Fisk waiting for him. He makes a half-hearted apology and confesses to paying off the Bulletin to prevent more exposes. He tries to talk Urich out of posting on the internet. He makes a snarky, cynical social commentary and asks Ben if he was alone when he spoke to his mother. Ben lies about being alone and Fisk knows that he didn’t kill Wesley, but can’t forgive him for going after his mother. He throttles Ben over the table and then smothers him on the carpet.

Promotional images are copyright to Marvel Entertainment and Netflix and are used for editorial purposes only.

Daredevil Month: The Path of the Righteous

The episode opens on a young girl at a hospital watching cartoons. Fisk and his men enter in from the gala. Lesley is concerned about himself and Fisk wants to make sure his girlfriend is okay, but procedure comes first.

Karen is knocking on Matt’s door. Foggy has been radio silent. Karen looks at Matt’s damaged face and says they should sue. She looks at the damaged apartment and he tells her not to worry. Karen can tell that Matt is lying, so she tells him about how she found Fisk’s mother. She also tells him about how Fisk killed his father. Unfortunately, that’s not a lot. Matt tells Karen to keep trying to find Foggy and to be careful. Karen gives Matt a “get well soon” balloon and leaves. Foggy wakes up at Marci’s apartment after a night sleeping with her. She rushes off to work while he ignores a call from Karen.

Fisk waits at the hospital. Leland is more concerned about how Fisk is going to keep things together. Wesley and Leland speculate as to “whodunit.” Wesley gets news that the other people who drank that poison have died, but Vanessa is still alive. Leland tells Wesley that they have to stay focused. Wesley tells Leland to talk to Gao. If she didn’t do it, they’re gonna need her help and if she did.

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Claire patches up Matt and tells him that he needs to get body armor. Matt remembers that Fisk had some kind of armor in the lining of his suit. Matt asks Claire if she wants to stay, but Claire says she wants to get out of the city. Matt implies that he’s gonna miss her. The two of them discuss their relationship, along the lines of whether or not they should have one. Matt still believes in the whole “We can’t be together because of my enemies” but Claire doesn’t believe it and leaves. She said that the only thing she remembers from Sunday school is that the martyr, saints, and saviors ended up bloody and alone. Matt doesn’t think he’s anything like them, but well, we know otherwise.

Karen meets up with Ben at the docks. Karen tries to apologize, but Ben is still mad at her. Karen really wants to get at Fisk, but all they have is the word of an old lady. The two of them discuss where things will eventually lead. Ben tells Karen about the gala and they both know that there are other bad guys out there who want to get at Fisk.

Fisk and Wesley continue to figure out whodunit. Fisk thinks about what Madame Gao said to him and wants vengeance. He wants to send Vanessa away to keep her safe, but Wesley disagrees. Fisk meets with the doctor and gets news that Vanessa will pull through.

At the church, Matt meets up with Fr. Lantom again. Fr. Lantom asks if he wants confession or a latte, but Matt wants neither. He tells the good priest about how he attempted to murder Fisk and what Claire told him. Fr. Lantom has a pretty good idea about what he does and Matt says that he used to think that what happened to him was God’s will but asks about why he feels like he has the devil in him. Fr. Lantom says that the devil is a symbol and a warning to get the righteous to repent.

Matt meditates in his apartment. The fight with Nobu is still on his mind. We cut to an alley at a man shooting at what’s seemingly nothing. He scales a rooftop and jumps down, only to be confronted by Daredevil. He asks the guy for information about Fisk’s body armor. The guy says the he might know a guy.

Fisk gets a call from his mother, but ignores it. He kisses a comatose Vanessa and heads out to meet Wesley. The doctor says that there may be complications. Fisk also asks Wesley to see what his mother needs. Lesley comes in saying that Gao sends condolences and didn’t say much else. He wants Fisk to get back to business because the enemies that are after them will inevitably come back. Wesley calls Marlene and asks her about what she needs. She talks to him about her recent visitors. Wesley asks to borrow keys and gun from a security officer and goes to take care of Marlene’s recent visitors himself.

Meanwhile, Daredevil finds the tailor that Fisk went to a few episodes ago. The tailor walks in and doesn’t see Daredevil in the room until the man in question appears behind him. The two get into a fight. The tailor tries to choke Daredevil with chains, but Daredevil uses that to his advantage and smothers the tailor. The tailor named Melvin breaks down and cries about Fisk hurting Betsy, a friend of his. Melvin tells Daredevil that he wants to do good but Fisk is threatening him to do otherwise. Daredevil asks Melvin to make him in exchange for keeping Fisk out and for keeping Betsy safe.

Karen finds Foggy at Josie’s pub and shares a drink with him. She asks him about why he hasn’t been returning her calls. Foggy tells her that what she has isn’t enough given Fisk’s power. Karen wonders what’s going on between Foggy and Matt and Foggy can’t talk about it. Karen tells him that they’ve started tearing down Elena’s building. She wants Foggy and Matt to make up or else. She calls Matt as she walks out of the pub and then calls Ben for a little pep talk. The camera shows Ben looking into Karen’s story before cutting to Karen getting kidnapped.

At the hospital, Fisk talks to Vanessa about how he never knew how to pray, even though it felt like he was lying to himself when he tried. He promises to avenge her.

Karen regains consciousness and wakes up at a warehouse, where Wesley is waiting for her. He asks her about why she went against her contract. He takes out his gun. He asks her if she loves the city and says that he himself doesn’t, but he stays because Fisk needs him. Wesley is surprised that Marlene remembers Karen and Ben in spite of her memory issues. Karen says to kill her and get it over with. Wesley, however, has other ideas. He makes her an offer: convince Ben to back off from Fisk and promote him or else he’ll kill everyone she knows and cares about. Karen grabs the gun from the table as Wesley’s phone goes off. Karen tells him that it’s not the first time she shot someone and kills Wesley. The phone goes off again. Karen takes the gun, cleans the table and leaves. Fisk keeps calling and gets no answer.

Promotional images are copyright to Marvel Entertainment and Netflix and are used for editorial purposes only.

His Mercy Is a Ground of Trust

My latest contribution to the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship is up!

An excerpt:

f there’s one word that summarizes St. Faustina, it’s “trust.” Keep in mind that private revelations are mostly a “take it or leave it” case and that not many saints receive visions. Many of Faustina’s sisters doubted her visions or belittled her as not being worthy of having them.

Many skeptics would probably see her visions as hallucinations or delusions of grandeur. Faustina had to trust that these visions were really and truly coming from God Himself. Thankfully, she had a good support system. But as today’s verse stated

“The righteous will see and they will fear; but they will laugh at him.” (Psalm 52:8)

 

Read the rest here!

Daredevil Month: Nelson V. Murdock

The episode opens up with Matt finally regaining consciousness after his last battle with Nobu. Foggy comes in, telling him that Claire patched him. He has a lot of questions, the first of which is “Are you even really blind?”

We flash back to Matt and Foggy’s college days. Foggy had long hair and a bro-beard like a hippie while Matt is your typical clean-shaven college boy. Foggy is keen on becoming Matt’s best friend right off the bat. They make a promise to keep no secrets.

Flashing forward, Foggy continues to lash at Matt, flashing him the middle finger. He’s seriously pissed that Matt kept his superpowers a secret. Matt tries to explain everything that’s going on, but Foggy’s too distraught. Karen calls and Foggy covers for him, but he asks Matt to tell him everything.

Fisk meets up with Madame Gao on the roof of a high rise building. They discuss Nobu’s unfortunate demise and the fact that the Masked Man is still at large. Nobu’s minions are waiting to make their next move. Madame Gao asks if his ambition will ever attack her, but Fisk tells her that he respects her. She starts speaking in English, telling him that the downside of being a Villain with Good Publicity is that Fisk is now torn between his two roles: the savior of the city or the oppressor of his crime ring. She tells him to choose wisely.

At the hospital, Ben Urich is visiting his wife, Doris. The two of them have a heartwarming discussion about whether or not he’s still the man he used to be. Doris’s memory lapses as Shirley walks in. The extension has ended.

Back in Matt’s apartment, Foggy looks at Matt’s black outfit and asks him about the costume and how he was able to fight. Of course, the backstory sounds like something out of a movie to Foggy. The superpowers freak Foggy out, especially the living lie detector thing.

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Flashing back to the salad days, Matt and Foggy are walking back, having fun after a night of drinking. Matt almost fesses up about his supersensory powers, but is able to cover it. He tells Foggy a little bit of his backstory. We also find out that Foggy’s real name was Franklin and that he learned Punjabi.

Urich looks at a brochure for a hospice when his boss comes in, asking why he’s handing out stories to other people. He gives Urich a job offer to work the metro branch and Urich considers it.

Karen comes back to the Nelson and Murdock offices and finds a box of Converse sneakers on her desk. The box is a gift for Karen: everything that Urich has on the Fisk consipracy. He tells Karen about how he has to take care of his wife. Karen tells him about a nursing home upstate.

Lesley, Wesley, and Fisk are suiting up at Fisk’s apartment and Fisk tells Lesley to placate Gao. Lesley berates Fisk about his new girlfriend but Fisk justifies it as part of change.

Foggy asks Matt if he ever killed anyone and Matt says he didn’t, but he wanted to.  Foggy asks him about why he’s working outside the law and Matt says that sometimes the law isn’t enough. We flash back to Matt and Foggy’s internship days. A panel of lawyers are interrogating an old sickly man about his breach of contract. Matt knows that the old man isn’t lying, but Foggy is still dreaming of working as an associate or partner at Landman and Zack. Matt wants to use the law to make a difference instead of being rich and fat. The two of them decide to quit their internship.

Karen and Urich are out on a drive and Karen learns how serious Doris’s condition is. Karen says that everyone has secrets they hold onto. They pull up to the nursing home and take a tour inside. Urich says he can’t afford the place.

Foggy asks Matt about how he went from being a blind kid to being a vigilante. Matt tells him about the first time he tries to save someone. He tried to report a child molestor, but nobody believed him. So Matt decided to take things into his own hands, beating up the man to a pulp, but leaving him alive. Foggy wonders if Matt’s just being pugilistic and Matt admits he doesn’t want to stop fighting.

Over in the nursing home, Karen leads Urich to the room of an old woman. They ask the woman about her life story. The woman turns out to be Fisk’s mother.

We cut to a gala where Fisk is giving a speech. He and Vanessa act like a pair of future politicians, schmoozing around. Fisk meets a Senator with a lot of connections. All of a sudden, the partygoers start collapsing to the floor, including Vanessa. And yes, I am actually fearing for her safety.

Foggy asks Matt if he’s thinking things through. Matt says that he’s doing what he does to make the city a better place. Foggy points out that it’s the same thing that Fisk is saying and that he wants his friend back. Foggy walks out.

In Josie’s bar, younger Matt and Foggy toast their leaving of the internship and Foggy creates a drawing of a sign for their future law offices. The bromance is real. Back in the law offices, Foggy looks at the sign that Karen had made and throws it away as he leaves the offices, resigning from his job.

Promotional images are copyright to Marvel Entertainment and Netflix and are used for editorial purposes only.

Why I Really Don't Like Hashtag Activism

If you can’t tell by how often I post on here, I basically live on the internet. I’m a self-proclaimed Instagram addict, I frequent Tumblr, I always post on Twitter, and I talk to more people through Facebook than in actual face-to-face conversation.

So when the internet inevitably blows up with hashtags about current events, I find myself thinking about this video from BlimeyCow:

Just replace “liking the Facebook page” and “wearing the t-shirt” with “copying the latest hashtag” and “posting about the news on Instagram” and you pretty much have the definition of “hashtag activism.”

I’ve experienced a few hashtag activism events in the past few years. The most infamous one being what I call the “Wendy Davis Incident of Tumblr 2013.” One major downside to being on Tumblr is that the longer you’re on the site, the more you start to realize that the site is a hive mind. And said hive mind comes in the form of embracing a distorted version of social justice and constant refrains of “check your privilege.” Anyone that doesn’t fit into their Alice-in-Wonderland version of right and wrong is called a bigot and any post that disagrees with their mindset usually gets reblogged with a lot of replies that boil down to “let me show you how wrong you are.” Julie Borowski talks about this in one of her videos:

Currently, there are two hashtags that really irritate me. One relates to the current riots in Baltimore over a black young adult who died while in police custody. Is it just me or are they all starting to blend together? Cop shoots black kid or black person dies from some kind of cop violence, black kid is innocent, riots and protests ensue, people hate cops. I’m getting stick of this! And what’s not helping things are social media invites to “purge.”

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For those who don’t know, the term “purge” comes from the awful movie series that centers around one night where crime is legal. In the world of social media, “purge” has become the new way of saying “riot.” And sadly, even the best and brightest young adults of social media see these riots as justified. To quote someone I used to follow on Twitter: “Riots are the language of the unheard. Are you listening?” When I shared this with a fellow online friend, he replied with: “Riots are the language of people who want to riot. Can you hear glass breaking? Also, has she ever heard of Kristallnacht? There was some rioting there.”

My friend Cordelia said this:

I hate Hashtag Activism. It’s good for things with require a brief spurt (like the TwitterBowl for the Chris Evans/Pratt hospital stuff. It would end in about a week, no matter what), but it fizzles out long term. Society must “trend”. What’s the buzzword of the day. Is it “Feminism” is it “Problematic” is it “Liamisthepoolcleaner” There is no steadiness. And that’s something ANY movement needs. And all of this isn’t to say that there ARE no issues. Racism is clearly still a problem. So is Feminism, whether first or third world countries. But there are wide divides between “Calling out” behavior (which might not even be calling it out and just straight up bullying” and manufacturing an issue.

Hashtags are… useful. They truly are. They can be a way to connect people. But they can also be used to say “I support something” but never put anything concrete forward. This works for things like TV shows and spreading news from places which you can’t visit, or even for something national but ethereal like mourning over someone’s death. But to use it to promote change can’t always work. People either get swept up in the excitement and the dismissal of anyone “Behind the curb” or it fizzles out through it’s own exhaustion. That being said, it can promote change too. But those are always minor or on the fence anyway.

The worst thing is that, being a semi-citizen of tumblr, part of this hashtag activism also involves many people quoting a line from Mockingjay: “If we burn, you burn with us!” For crying out effing loud, this is not Panem and society is not President Snow. I actually read the Hunger Games trilogy and you are taking that line completely out of context! With franchises such as Hunger Games, Divergence, Maze Runner, and The 100, it makes me think that young adults almost want an apocalypse to happen just so that they can have an excuse to rage against the establishment. Once again, all the stories start blending together.

And to think, almost a month ago, my biggest complaint about the internet was everyone fighting over a god-awful dress.

The other hashtag that’s really bugging me is #LoveMustWin, the hashtag relating to the Supreme Court possibly making gay marriage legal nationwide. Here’s the thing: the people who created this hashtag don’t even know what love really is! Love is not just “oh I want to marry this person and be with them for the rest of my life.” There is a bigger love involved: God’s love. I also hate how forceful this hashtag sounds. Like love must win at any cost, even at the expense of imposing on those who don’t agree with you.

Being asexual, Cordelia had this to say about #LoveMustWin:

Catholics, are by our very nature “Problematic” to the modern viewpoint. We are very much against racism and so on, but fight against modern feminism with our insistence that male and female are equal and different which runs uncomfortably against Brown vs Board of education’s “Separate but equal” even if they are different.

Not to mention the even internal debates over gender identity and our current debate over Queerness and how some well meaning Catholics do come across as homophobic even if they do not intend to be. But by being against Gay Marriage in the first place we are automatically “Homophobic” and anyone who does not fit into the idea is ostracized. This INCLUDES Queer Catholics who agree/disagree on various issues.YES Love must win… but not that love. God’s love. Which is not necessarily Romantic love, no matter who designs it that way. (INCLUDING the Church. There’s a lot of bride/groom imagery which doesn’t always work.) This isn’t a heresy deal. And some of us do not get it. Or drift to other ideas of love due to various sexual natures. Why do other queers have such a narrow definition of A)What it means to be queer and B)what you HAVE to support if you’re queer?

I’m gonna be offering my Divine Mercy Chaplet to everything going on right now. If there’s anything the world needs to understand right now, it’s the concept of mercy.

Speaking of which, my latest post for the Heart of Mary Women’s Fellowship Mercy Study is up. Read it here. I’ll leave you with this excerpt from a previous study and ask that if you’re gonna be on the internet discussing current events, do so with compassion and mercy towards everyone.

Compassion and mercy are often affiliated with each other because it takes an understanding of suffering and a desire to alleviate one’s suffering in order to be merciful. It’s not always easy, obviously. More often than not, we get angry and make snap judgments. Sometimes, compassion and mercy are the furthest thing from our minds. But the key here is sympathy, having the ability to understand another person. Once we put ourselves into someone else’s shoes, having compassion and mercy for them becomes a bit easier.

 The image shared is from Heavy.com and was used for editorial purposes only.

Daredevil Month: Speak of the Devil

The episode opens with Daredevil fighting a red ninja, one who uses a kunai with chain to slice at Daredevil from a distance. The red ninja seems to have the advantage, constantly knocking Daredevil down or making a cut with his weapon.

After the opening credits play, Father Lantom approaches Matt Murdock and says that he’s open for Confession. However, Matt wants to take the priest up on his latte offer. Fr. Lantom said that he is still willing to listen to Matt’s confession, since it’s just the two of them. Matt asks Fr. Lantom if he believes in the devil. The good priest admits that he believed that the devil was inconsequential, justifying the fact that “Satan” in Hebrew meant advocate, so he used to think that the devil represented any antagonist. Then he spent some time in Rwanda and befriended Gahiji, a village leader and holy man. Gahiji’s enemies were ordered to behead him in front of the village. Even though Gahiji was able to win over the men who worked for the enemy leader, he wasn’t able to win over the man himself. In that instance, Fr. Lantom began to believe in the Devil and that he could take many forms.

Meanwhile, at the Nelson and Murdock law offices, Foggy, Karen, and Urich discuss what to do about Fisk because of his Villain with Good Publicity status. Urich gives Karen the documents that Daredevil gave him. Karen looks through them and starts thinking of following the money through the six degrees of separation. Foggy is unsure about whether or not to trust the Mask, as Karen calls him, but Karen and Ben Urich definitely do.

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Fisk and Wesley meet down in a warehouse by the docks. Hoffman has gone missing and Fisk’s men haven’t found him yet. Wesley also points out that Daredevil hasn’t been as active as he once was. However, Nobu comes in and interrupts, demanding a particular city block in exchange for his services to Fisk. Fisk tells him that the city block will be hard to clear out, so he asks Nobu to take care of the man in black.

Back in the offices of Nelson and Murdock, Foggy and Karen are struggling with their follow-the-money plan. Mrs. Cardenas comes in, telling them about how Fisk is offering them double or nothing to move out. They persuade her to fight back and Mrs. Cardenas is firm in her resolve. Once Mrs. Cardenas leaves, Matt isn’t sure if standing up to Fisk is the right thing because he won’t be shaken easily, but Karen wants to call the old man out. Matt goes to the art gallery where Vanessa works.

At the gallery, it’s shown that there is extra security. Matt comes under the guise of buying art to impress the ladies. Vanessa shows him a painting and describes it to him. The painting is a gradient of red, a bright red center with dark in the background. He asks her about what kind of art her boyfriend likes. Cue Fisk entering the gallery. It’s probably not a coincidence. The two of them have a discussion about the tenement case. Matt decides to leave the gallery to “consider the cost” and heads to church.

Fr. Lantom and Matt speak in front of the crucifix. They discuss what Matt ought and ought not to do about his desire to confront the devil. Fr. Lantom tells him to think about what his desires are because the ends don’t justify the means. He quotes Proverbs 25:26 and opens two interpretations. On the one hand, evil happens if good men do nothing. On the other hand, the sin of a righteous man can affect everyone else. Lantom thinks that Matt went to see Vanessa to try and find a third way.

Matt returns to the offices. Karen finds the people who attacked her outside of Mrs. Cardenas’s apartment. But while they’re off the map, the good news is that the law firm finally has a proper sign. Karen gets a phone call…it’s the coroner calling them to identify Mrs. Cardenas’s body. She was stabbed multiple times.

We cut back to the fight between Daredevil and the red ninja. Daredevil fights back in spite of the multiple slices. The red ninja is revealed to be Nobu himself, intent on assassinating Daredevil. The fight scene is brutal and it seems that Daredevil is down for the count.

Down at Josie’s pub, Foggy, Karen, and Matt mourn Mrs. Cardenas. Matt doesn’t think that her death is a coincidence. Local news talk about Mrs. Cardenas’s death and Fisk talks about the offer he made to the tenants. Fisk cries crocodile tears, but Matt, Karen, and Foggy know that it’s not a coincidence. Karen wants the Mask to take care of Fisk by any means. Matt asks Karen if she’s religious. Karen admits that she isn’t. Matt says he’s Catholic. Karen asks if it helps, given their current situation, Matt admits that it currently doesn’t. As Matt leaves, Karen tells Matt that if God exists, then Fisk will get what he deserves.

Matt returns to his apartment and, after thinking about it for a minute, decides to open up a green trunk. It’s a trunk that contains his father’s boxing uniform and his Daredevil costume. A montage of Daredevil interrogating people in various allies. He comes across some heroin junkies in a rundown apartment and finds Mrs. Cardena’s purse there. He beats up one of them and asks about where he got the purse. The addict gives him the name of a pier where he got hired. Daredevil tells the addict to turn himself in or else and gives one last punch for good measure.

Daredevil arrives at the pier and feels out the plans Nobu laid out for Hell’s Kitchen. He hears the heartbeat of another person in the room. Nobu appears. Daredevil quickly figures out that it’s a trap. The two of them quickly get into a fight. It’s at this point that see the parts of Daredevil that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got their inspiration from.

At Josie’s pub, Foggy and Karen continue to drown their sorrows. Foggy blames himself for Mrs. Cardenas’s death and begins to lose faith in what he believes in, given how Fisk has so much power and money.

We cut back to where the fight left off. Daredevil is able to get Nobu off his back and kicks him into a back wall. We notice gasoline pouring out of a barrel. A spark from a lamp sets Nobu on fire. Daredevil struggles to get up while Fisk thanks him for “murdering” Nobu. This is the first time that Daredevil and Fisk meet face to face. Daredevil tells Fisk that he’s gonna kill him. Of course, Fisk came with armed backup. Daredevil uses Nobu’s weapon to slice at Fisk, but it doesn’t wok. Fisk starts beating Daredevil down and sends him flying, with Daredevil breaking the desk of Nobu’s plans. He starts to leave and tells Wesley to finish the job, giving Daredevil the chance to escape quickly by jumping out of a window and into the river. Fisk tells his other henchman to make a manhunt for Daredevil. Shoot on sight.

Foggy shows up at Matt’s apartment and hears a noise inside. He comes in through the roof entrance. He comes inside and sees that the floor’s been broken through. He arms himself with Matt’s walking stick and Daredevil appears, stumbling and falling down. Foggy calls 911, but hangs up as the slow realization and curiosity sinks in. He takes off the mask…revealing Daredevil to be Matt.

Promotional images are copyright to Netflix and Marvel Studios and are used for editorial purposes only.

Why Scorpion is Awesome

I’ve stated before that I am very picky about the shows that I watch. I tend to avoid shows like The Big Bang Theory in which nerds are portrayed as stereotypical men who barely function socially and obsess over stuff nobody cares about. And it’s not just because “oh they’re making fun of nerds and I am one.” I always think that there is a way for nerdy and comedy to go together. Shows like Doctor Who and Buffy rank very high on the nerdy factor, but there are few, if any, nerdy characters.

Enter Scorpion or </scorpion> as shown by the title. It’s allegedly based on the life of Walter O’Brien, but I tend to think that the whole “based on a real story” was just the selling point for this action/dramedy. Not only does this show have nerdy characters, but it also shows that there are different ways to be smart. Not to mention *GASP* the rare-in-TV-but-common-in-real-life thing called “female nerds.”

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the plot.

The premise of Scorpion is that “Scorpion” is the name of a group of geniuses who work as government consultants, under the watch of Homeland Security Officer Gabe Gallo (played by Robert Patrick of Terminator 2 fame). The leader of the team is Walter O’Brien (played by Elyes Gabel), who is the least socially functional out of all of them.

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He rationalizes a lot of his reckless actions and claims not to believe in emotions such as love, but I personally think he’s in total denial of his emotions because his emotions have led him the wrong way before. The humor at his expense often happens when his reckless actions make things worse for everyone else. It took me a long time to warm up to him, but his love for his sister and Gabe (whom he sees as a father figure) and his growing affection for Paige and Ralph helped things.

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Sylvester Dodd (played by Ari Stidman) is the closest thing to the more stereotypical nerd: overweight, obsessed with comic books, and amazing with numbers. But guess what? Sylvester is also the first of the team to enter into a happy and functioning relationship. Score one for the geeks getting the girl! In the intro to the show, Sylvester is described as the “human calculator,” and is seen having OCD tendencies and lots of moments where he has to face some kind of irrational phobia. However, Sylvester is a lovable cowardly lion, able to face his fears. And out of everyone on the team, he has the highest EQ, which means he understands his own emotions better than the other geniuses. It’s also why he eventually gets in a relationship with Walter’s sister, Megan.

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Toby Curtis (played by Eddie Kaye Thomas) is the behaviorist. He can tell how everyone else is feeling by looking at nonverbal cues and gestures. He’s also a gambling addict and he wears the coolest hat. Next to Walter, Toby is usually the one who gets the team in trouble most often, but he has a lot more cool factor because, like Sylvester, he’s more in tune with his emotions. Two major story arcs in the first season revolve around Toby’s flirtations and attempts at having a relationship with fellow genius Happy Quinn and Toby majorly shipping Walter and Paige.

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And yes, this is an accurate picture of shippers on Tumblr.

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Happy Quinn (played by Jadyn Wong) is my second favorite character next to Sylvester because A) she’s a female geek, B) she’s Asian, and C) she is not the hacker of the team or some other kind of Asian stereotype. Hallelujah, this is how characters are supposed to be written! She is the mechanical genius, a job usually given to men, and like Walter, Happy is someone out of touch with her emotions due to issues in the past. She is also a major tsundere. What is a tsundere, you ask? To quote TV Tropes, a tsundere is “A character who frequently criticizes their love interest and acts cranky to everyone else, but is sweet and lovestruck on the inside.” She’s often saying mean things to Toby and Paige, but she really loves them underneath all that bite. 

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Paige Dineen (played by Katharine McPhee of American Idol and Smash fame) is the only non-genius on the team and acts as the “translator,” helping the geniuses of Scorpion understand the outside world and vice versa. The best example of this is in the episode “Once Bitten, Twice Die,” when she figured out ways to keep the diplomats from Belarus, Lithuania, and Latvia under control. She gets recruited onto the team because her son, Ralph, turns out to be a genius and not “challenged” like she originally thought. Ralph develops a close bond with all the geniuses, especially Walter. Furthering complicating things is Paige’s ex-husband Drew, who plays baseball for a minor league team.

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Gabe Gallo acts as the “parental unit” of the team. As stated before, he’s a father figure for Walter, but he sees the other geniuses as his own children as well. This is because he’s divorced from his first wife and lost a child. The majority of the season revolves around Walter and Cabes father/son relationship.

The season develops the characters in a very realistic way. Happy and Toby, for example, embark on a relationship, but Toby’s emotional issues end the relationship before it even starts. Walter’s growing fondness for Paige and Ralph contributes to a seriously reckless action that leads to the season finale. Sylvester faces his phobias and falls in love with Megan and it’s shown that the team really cares about him. And like every other show I love, the Scorpion team develops into a family. I highly recommend you watch this show and I can’t wait for the second season!

Men of Christ Monday: Matt Maher

I had the very very fortunate privilege of interviewing Matt Maher recently about his album “Saints and Sinners.” I have reviewed the album on this blog, but it’s quite another thing to hear the story behind the creative process in making this album.

 

So where did the inspiration for this album come from? 

I was thinking about this next album while on tour for All the People Said Amen. Originally making protest songs, going back to the Shakespearean definition of the word, which means. loudly proclaim something you believe. too confusing. too long to explain. Moved on to the idea of being inspired by the saints. Not just those who are canonized. Reveal something about God’s heart. Inspired by world youth day in Brazil. Look through Church History. January of last year, starting writing A Future Not My Own. Had a phase of writer’s block. Record label wanted a whole album and he had a lot of unfinished songs.

 

 

Tell me the stories behind some of the songs on this album.

Because He Lives-Gaither. Taking pieces of the song and sort of making it a “part two” to the original. Instrument is, obviously, inspired by St. Francis. It felt like God was working through me with this particular song because it just feels so timely. Abide With Me was inspired by “Abide In Me.” The song was composed by Henry Francis Lyte as he was dying. Glory Bound was nspired by Woody Guthrie’s “This Train is Bound for Glory.” I use the music in this album to illustrate the dichotomy of being called to be saints, but still being a sinner. 80s music was a big influence, including Springsteen. Land of My Father was inspired by a talk that centered on idea of returning to the Kingdom of God. The chorus was inspired by Isaiah 6 and the vision of Heaven. It reminds people of God’s kingship.

 

What is your personal favorite song on the album?

When I first created the album, my favorite track was “Rest.” I wrote it while my grandmother was losing her eyesight, coming to terms with the fact that she’s dying. I started thinking about the idea of dying with dignity.

My current favorite, now that I’m on tour is “Deliverer.” “Deliverer” was inspired by life as a parent and as an artist. Mary held all these things in her heart-and I’m just starting to learn what that means now. The moments you experience with children reveal a glimpse of the kingdom of God, impact your life. This song was inspired by my son overcoming his fear of the dark, but it didn’t come to me right away. It came from carrying this memory in my heart first.

 

Who are your go-to saints?

This album is round one of my list. These are the saints that are walking with me.

 

What advice would you give to young Catholic adults?

To those in the church: Memory is a powerful thing. Most of our faith is rooted in our memory. Sin is rooted in our fear of the future or the past. We have memories of what it means to be a sinner, not just to remind us about the Mercy of God, but to continue actively pursuing a relationship with God. We remember needing mercy so that we can be merciful to others. The mercy we are called to extend is limitless and inexhaustible. What the world needs now are saints that are rooted in reality and not in sentimentality. Most people grew up with a distortion of Christianity. God shining in our weakness, the power of the Cross is perfected in our weakness.

Daredevil Month: Shadows in the Glass

The episode opens with Fisk waking up from a nightmare, unseen by the audience. He stares up at the painting he bought. Yo Yo Ma’s Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major plays as he cooks himself breakfast. He picks out a suit (they all honestly look the same to me) and a shirt to wear. As he gets dressed, he looks in the mirror and sees a young boy whose face is covered in blood, his younger self.

Murdock’s apartment is still a huge mess after what happened last episode. An alarm goes off, telling him that it’s 7AM. Over at the offices, Foggy and Karen discuss whether or not they should share their investigation with Matt. Of course, Matt walks in and Karen decides to fess up. Matt tells them to stay out of it, but they’re already too far in to back out. Matt decides to use the law to their advantage.

Over in a warehouse by the docks, Nobu gets in an argument with Wesley and Fisk. Nobu is pissed that Black Sky is dead. Wilson said he’ll work something out and Nobu walks off, threatening Fisk. Wesley asks what Nobu contributes to the group. Fisk says that even though things seem to be going so well, he’ll have to be more caution than ever.

We flash back to Fisk’s childhood, where he’s cutting cup wood and listening to records with his father. His mother is paying bills. His father, Bill, is running for city council. Wilson overhears his parents talking about how he got a loan from the Italian mob boss Rigoletto. Flashing forward, Fisk is on the phone making conversation with Vanessa when he gets interrupted by Wesley. Blake, one of the cops that got shot a few episodes ago, has gotten out of his coma. Although Blake is unable to talk, Fisk tells Wesley to take care of him. However, Blake is surrounded by security. They decide to acquire the help of Blake’s partner, Hoffman.

Karen, Foggy, and Matt are researching, in spite of Foggy wanting to be more hands-on. Karen gets the news of Blake getting out of his coma.

Fisk and Wesley talk to Hoffman about trying to keep Blake silent. Hoffman knows that Fisk is the real reason Blake got shot, but Fisk is that Blake will continue to give information to the wrong people like he did before. Hoffman is loyal to his partner because they are childhood friends. Fisk plans to buy Hoffman out.

At the hospital, Hoffman appears with a very guilty expression in his eyes. He signs in with the security and smuggles a syringe in through a sandwich. After Hoffman syringes Blake, the patient in question wakes up and Daredevil attacks Hoffman, knocking him out. Blake has trouble breathing. Daredevil asks Blake for information, but it’s too late. The cops come in as Daredevil disappears.

Leland gets fitted with a new vest and laments not being able to see his grandson. He asks Fisk about where he can hide from Daredevil. Wesley tells the two of them that Blake talked with Daredevil before he died, but that Daredevil continues to be framed for Blake’s death.

Back in Fisk’s childhood, Fisk shares a cake with his mother. He’s distraught with a bloodied lip. A kid from his school knocked down his father’s signs, called him a loser, and beat him up. Bill meets up with the bully, who’s practicing his baseball swing on a few empty glass bottles. The bully says that he was just repeating what his father said. Bill assaults the bully and kicks him down. Fisk tells his dad to stop, but his dad insists that this is the right thing to do, telling him to kick the bully as he’s down.

Fisk wakes up again and makes breakfast. As he gets dressed his phone rings. Wesley tells Fisk that Madame Gao is coming to visit him and that Wesley’s on his way to help out. The three of them share tea and we find out that Madame Gao is good with her English and knows that Fisk can speak and understand Mandarin. She asks in Japanese about whether or not Nobu knows Fisk also speaks and understands Japanese and asks Wesley to leave them. Madame Gao and Fisk discuss about Nobu and Leland. She tells Fisk that he’s getting sloppy and emotional, comparing him to the Russians. She tells him to get his act together or she’ll just work with Nobu and Leland without his help. Fisk flips over the table as he loses his temper and orders Wesley to get out.

Back in Fisk’s childhood, his father tells him to stare at the wall and think about the man he wants to be. We see that the wall is very similar to the painting Fisk bought as an adult, all white. Bill prepares for a meeting with Rigoletto. His wife, Marlene, doesn’t want him to go. The two have an argument that escalated with Bill beating up Marlene with his fists and his belt.

Wesley comes back to Fisk’s apartment, wanting to help. He brings Vanessa in and leaves. Fisk tells Vanessa to go, but she also wants to help Fisk get back on track. Fisk confides in her.

Flashing back to Fisk’s childhood, Fisk tells his father to stop, grabbing a hammer. He attacks his father with the hammer, beating him to death. His mother tells him to get the saw. She undresses her husband and gives the cufflinks to the young Fisk before sawing the body so that it’s easier to hide.

Fisk continues to tell Vanessa about the night he killed his father and how he and his mother hid the body. He still carries the guilt of killing his father. He wears the cufflinks to remind him that he’s not a monster. Vanessa tells him that he’s not a monster. Of course, we know otherwise.

Lightning strikes and a thunderstorm pours down over the city as Urich heads to his car. He’s on his phone and drops his keys. Daredevil appears, saying “We need to talk.” Urich, of course, is unsure what to think about him. Daredevil tells him to expose Wilson Fisk. The two of them have a discussion and Urich asks for more information, reliable sources. Daredevil tells him just to drag Fisk into the light.

Fisk wakes up again after a night of passion with Vanessa. He looks at the painting and then curls up with her. She’s there to greet him at breakfast. Ben narrates about the haves and the have-nots as Vanessa picks out the clothes and new cufflinks for Fisk to wear. When Fisk looks at himself in the mirror, he finally sees himself, and not the boy he used to be. Urich is at his office, writing his expose on Fisk, only for Fisk to appear on the news as a “mysterious philantropist,” cementing his place as a Villain With Good Publicity.  President Lex Luthor has nothing on this guy.

Promotional images are copyright to Marvel Studios and Netflix and are used for editorial purposes only.